CHICAGO – December 18, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today named legal and criminal justice expert Judge David A. Erickson to lead a comprehensive review of the Department of Correction’s Meritorious Good Time program. Governor Quinn recently suspended that program while it undergoes a comprehensive evaluation.
“Judge Erickson is a noted criminal law professor, an ex- judge and a former prosecutor,” said Governor Quinn. “His real world experience and deep understanding of the criminal justice system prepares him for this very important task. On behalf of the people of Illinois, I thank him for taking on this vital mission.”
Judge Erickson, who will be an unpaid advisor to the Governor, will conduct a top-to-bottom review of the Meritorious Good Time program. He will head a team that includes Jerome Stermer, Governor Quinn’s chief of staff and Theodore Chung, general counsel to Governor Quinn.
Judge Erickson will review every aspect of the Department of Correction’s Meritorious Good Time program and present a report to the Governor with deliberate speed. The review’s goals include, creating policies and procedures that make sure the program’s first concern is always public safety and maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice system and the courts’ sentencing of offenders.
“I thank the governor for the opportunity and promise a complete open review of the process,” said Judge Erickson.
Judge Erickson is Senior Lecturer in Law at Chicago-Kent College of Law. A graduate of John Marshall Law School in 1976, Judge Erickson has served with distinction as: Justice for the Appellate Court of Illinois (1st
District); Trial judge and acting-presiding judge at Juvenile Justice; First Assistant State’s Attorney for Cook County, Criminal Courts; Felony Trial Court Judge and Supervising Judge Night Narcotics Courts; and Assistant States Attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. (Background sheet attached
Governor Quinn ordered the suspension of the Meritorious Good Time effort after some concerns regarding the program surfaced. Under Illinois law, the Department of Corrections can issue credit for meritorious good time served by inmates.
“My mandate to the Department of Corrections is that the public’s safety always comes first. A top-to-bottom review of this program will make sure that we never waver from this all-important goal,” said Governor Quinn.